Daily Current Affairs - 01st Oct 2019

94th Raising Day of MNS to be celebrated on october 1

  • The 94th Raising Day of the Military Nursing Service (MNS) will be celebrated on October 1. On the occasion, nursing officers will re-dedicate themselves to render high quality, selfless nursing care to their patients by reading the Florence Nightingale Pledge.
  • MNS is the only all women corps in the Armed Forces. It came into being on March 28, 1888 with the arrival of first batch of 10 qualified British Nurses in Bombay, to organize nursing in Military hospitals in India.
  • In 1893, it was designated as Indian Army Nursing Service and in 1902 as Queen Alexandra Military Nursing Service.

Annu Rani qualifies for Javelin Throw Final at World Athletics C’ships

  • Annu Rani has become the first Indian to qualify for Women's Javelin Throw Final at World Athletics Championships in Doha. She smashed her own national record during the qualification round of the Championships with best attempt of 62.43 metres. Annu Rani finished fifth in the qualifying round.

Core sector growth slips to 52-month low

  • Growth in the eight core sectors in August slumped to the lowest in four years and four months. That is, the -0.5% registered in August 2019 was the lowest since April 2015
  • Growth in five out of the eight sectors of the Index of Eight Core Industries fell into the negative zone in August. The index had registered a growth of 2.7% in July 2019 and a robust 4.72% in August 2018.
  • Within the Index, the coal sector saw the sharpest contraction, with the sector contracting 8.6% in August 2019 compared with a contraction of 1.6% in the previous month.
  • Crude oil sector contracted 5.4% in August, compared with a contraction of 4.4% in July.
  • Natural gas sector contracted 3.9% in August, compared with a contraction of 0.5% in July.
  • The electricity sector also saw a contraction in August, contracting 2.9%, compared with a growth of 4.7% in the previous month.

Current account deficit shrinks

  • According to the latest Reserve Bank of India (RBI) data, India's current account deficit (CAD) narrowed to 2% of GDP, or $14.3 billion, in the first quarter of the current financial year from 2.3% of GDP, or $15.8 billion, reported during the same period of the previous year.
  • The CAD contracted on a year-on-year basis, primarily on account of higher invisible receipts at $31.9 billion as compared with $29.9 billion a year ago.

DRDO test-fires BrahMos supersonic cruise missile

  • Defence Research and Development Organization, DRDO, has successfully test-fired a land-attack version of BrahMos supersonic cruise missile off the coast of Odisha from the Integrated Test Range in Chandipur. The missile, with a strike range of 290km, can be fired from land as well as sea-based platforms.
  • Defence sources said it has been fitted with increased indigenous equipment and is a version used by the Army.

Foreign investors pour in Rs 7,714 cr into capital markets in September

  • After remaining net sellers for the past two months, foreign investors infused a net 7,714 crore rupees into the domestic capital markets in this month following a slew of economic reforms by the government.
  • As per latest depositories data, FPIs poured around 7,850 crore rupees into equities and withdrew around 136 crore from the debt segment between 3rd to 27th this month, translating into a cumulative net inflow of 7,714 crore rupees.
  • Prior to this, foreign investors had pulled out a net 5,920 crore rupees in August and 2,986 rupees crore in July from the domestic capital markets (both equity and debt).

Former French President Jacques Chirac gets full military honours

  • Former French President Jacques Chirac was given full military honours today as current and past world leaders gathered in Paris to attend his final service. Jacques Chirac died Thursday at the age of 86. A mainstay of French politics over four decades, Chirac served as Paris mayor, a lawmaker, prime minister and the president from 1995 to 2007.

Govt. to borrow Rs. 2.68 lakh crore in October-March

  • The Union government has met its target of borrowing Rs. 4.42 lakh crore in the first half of the financial year, and plans to borrow Rs. 2.68 lakh crore in the October 2019 to March 2020 period.
  • The government will be borrowing the Rs.2.68 lakh crore targeted for the second half of the year in 17 weekly auctions. This would account for the remaining 37.75% of the gross borrowing programme of Rs.7.1 lakh crore for the full financial year.
  • The government was maintaining its glide path to meet the fiscal deficit target of 3.3% by the end of the financial year.

India rebuts Pakistan's stand on Kashmir at Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference in Uganda

  • India strongly opposed Pakistan's propaganda on Kashmir at the General Assembly of 64th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference in Uganda's capital Kampala. The Pakistani parliamentary delegation raised the issue of Kashmir at the Commonwealth meet claiming that Indian military forces have seized Kashmir.
  • Pakistan's propaganda was strongly opposed by BJP MP Roopa Ganguly along with other members of the Indian parliamentary delegation.
  • An Indian parliamentary delegation led by the Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla is participating in the 64th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference being held in Kampala, Uganda from 22 to 29 September.

IRCTC IPO subscribed 81% on Day 1

  • The initial public offer (IPO) of Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), which opened for subscription on Monday, was subscribed 0.81 times on the first day with the retail and employee portions getting over subscribed.
  • The issue received bids for nearly 1.64 crore equity shares as against 2.02 crore shares on offer in the price band of Rs.315-320.
  • The retail segment has been subscribed 2.23 times with bids received for 1.56 crore equity shares, compared to 70 lakh shares on offer.
  • IRCTC, which is the railways’ online ticketing, tourism and catering arm, is entering the capital market with an a public issue of Rs.645 crore.
  • IRCTC earns the maximum revenue (55%) from its catering operations followed by travel & tourism (23.38%), ticketing (12.35%) and Rail Neer (9.28%).
  • For the financial year ended March 31, 2019, the company reported a net profit of Rs.272.56 crore, which was higher than the previous year’s net profit of Rs.220.62 crore in the previous year. The company, which is completely debt-free, had cash reserves of Rs.1,140.04 crore as on March 31, 2019.

Kalia from 'Sholay', actor Viju Khote, passes away

  • Veteran Hindi and Marathi film-theatre actor Viju Khote passed away due to multiple organ failure. He was 77. The actor, most famous for playing the dacoit Kalia in 'Sholay' and Robert in 'Andaz Apna Apna', died at his residence.
  • The several popular feature films that Khote was a part of also included 'Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak' and 'Ventilator'. He also featured in the TV show 'Zabaan Sambhalke'.

Kerala tops NITI Aayog's school education quality ranking, UP last

  • According to a report released by the Niti Aayog, Kerala has emerged on top among 20 large states in terms of quality of school education, followed by Rajasthan and Karnataka, while the most-populous Uttar Pradesh was ranked at the bottom position during 2016-17.
  • The overall performance score for the large states ranged from 76.6 per cent for Kerala to 36.4 per cent for Uttar Pradesh.
  • Among eight smaller states, Manipur, Tripura and Goa bagged the top-three positions, respectively, followed by Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh.
  • The report, titled 'The Success of Our Schools-School Education Quality Index' (SEQI) was jointly released by the Niti Aayog, Ministry of Human Resource Development and the World Bank, alongside sectoral experts.
  • SEQI, which used 2016-17 as the reference year and 2015-16 as the base year, was developed to evaluate the performance of states and Union Territories (UTs) in the school education sector.

KS Dhatwalia appointed PIB's Principal DG

  • Senior Indian Information Service officer, KS Dhatwalia, has been appointed as the Principal Director General of Press Information Bureau.
  • Mr. Dhatwalia will succeed Sitanshu Kar and will be the 28th Principal Spokesperson of the government. He will continue to hold the additional charge of Director General, Indian Institute of Mass Communication.
  • KS Dhatwalia has worked in key positions in various Media Units of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

Pakistan seals 67-run win over Sri Lanka in Karachi

  • Pakistan marked the return of ODI cricket in Karachi after 10 years with a 67-run victory over Sri Lanka in the second one-day international.
  • Babar Azam formed the backbone of Pakistan’s strong total of 305-7 as he smashed 115 off 105 balls. Babar also became the fastest Pakistani batsman to complete 1,000 ODI runs in a calendar year in 19 matches.
  • Chasing a mammoth target of 306, Pakistan bowled Sri Lanka out for 238 in 46.5 overs. Usman Shinwari claimed a five-wicket haul for Pakistan.

RBI announces contests to promote innovations, ideas in payment

  • Reserve Bank of India has announced two contests to promote innovations and ideas in the payment and settlement systems. Shortlisted participants will get an opportunity to present their ideas before a jury of eminent persons while outstanding innovators will be awarded prizes and citations.
  • The contest will be organised through Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology (IDRBT), Hyderabad.
  • The submissions can be made under the categories of Offline payments, Payment options for feature phone users, Simple and easy Know Your Customer, Automated online dispute redressal systems, Cross border remittances and Safety and security in payment systems among others.
  • While individuals, groups, entrepreneurs, companies, start-ups and similar entities can participate in ‘Payment and Settlement Systems Innovation Contest’, students at the undergraduate or above levels can participate in ‘Payment and Settlement Systems Innovative Ideas Competition’.

RBI appoints Jai Bhagwan Bhoria as administrator for PMC Bank

  • The Reserve Bank of India has superseded the Board of Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Bank Limited, Mumbai and appointed Jai Bhagwan Bhoria as the bank's administrator with all powers of the board.
  • According to an official release, the amount of withdrawal from the bank allowed to depositors has been increased from one thousand to ten thousand rupees.
  • The RBI's directives will remain in force for a period of six months
  • This development comes at a time when the lender's suspended MD reportedly admitted to the RBI that the bank's actual exposure to the bankrupt HDIL is over Rs.6,500 crore -- four times the regulatory cap or a whopping 73% of its entire assets of Rs.8,880 crore.

Saudi Arabia's crown prince warns of unimaginably high oil prices

  • Saudi Arabia's crown prince Mohammed bin Salman has warned that oil prices could rise to unimaginably high numbers if the world does not act to deter Iran. He said a war between Saudi Arabia and Iran would ruin the global economy. Salman also said that he accepted some responsibility for the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. However, he denied personally ordering it.

States’ gross fiscal deficit stayed within 3%: RBI

  • According to a Reserve Bank of India's report on State Finances, States’ gross fiscal deficit (GFD) has remained within the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act (FRBM) threshold of 3% of gross domestic product (GDP) during 2017-18 and 2018-19.
  • For 2019-20. States have budgeted a consolidated GFD of 2.6% of GDP the report stated. However, outstanding debt of States have risen over the last five years to 25% of GDP, posing medium-term challenges to its sustainability.
  • In the recent five-year period, the combined GFD of the States (excluding Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojna in 2015-16 and 2016-17) averaged 2.5% of GDP, which was in striking range of the recommendation of the FRBM Review Committee.
  • The report argued that revenue generation held the key to prudent debt management, improving tax buoyancy by capitalising on technology enabled efficiency gains under the GST architecture, and raising user charges should bolster revenue raising capacity.

Sumit Nagal wins men's singles title ATP Challenger Tournament

  • Sumit Nagal has won the men's singles title of ATP Challenger Tournament at Buenos Aires in Argentina. He defeated local favourite Facundo Bognis in straight-sets 6-4, 6-2 in an hour and 37 minute match to claim the 54,160 US dollars prize money.
  • He outclassed 8th seed Bognis of Argentina to become first Indian to win on South American clay court.

Wilson Singh-Satish Kumar pair wins gold at Asian Age Group C'ships

  • India's N Wilson Singh and Satish Kumar Prajapati have produced impressive performances to win a gold medal in 10 metres platform synchronised event at the ongoing 10th Asian Age Group Championships in Bengaluru. The duo scored 290.19 score to beat Uzbekistan's Zaynetdinov Marsel and Khasanov Botir, who scored 280.53 points.
  • India, thus, extended their total tally to 60 medals (17 gold, 23 silver and 20 bronze) in the prestigious championships, which is the largest aquatic event in Asia.